Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 387

The Boys of Summer is a memoir whose characters are all real people and institutions. In addition to the author himself during his years as a young sportswriter, these characters include the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team as a whole and as individuals, and the borough of Brooklyn.

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Much of the book is a "Where are they now?" recap of the team's stars from the 1940s and 1950s before the team was whisked away to Los Angeles.

The Dodgers underscored the character of Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs that make up New York City. In many ways, Brooklyn is the polar opposite of Manhattan, New York's glittering crown jewel. Historically, Brooklyn was home to immigrant and first-generation families, particularly Jews and Italians, and African Americans who left the Jim Crow South.

Going to Ebbets Field to see a Dodgers game brought Brooklynites together outside the workplace. Without the Dodgers, they probably would never have never had much desire or opportunity to socialize, even if only over a common interest. The Dodgers helped Brooklyn embody the real "mixing bowl" metaphor that once characterized the US itself.

Jackie Robinson is a major, and perhaps the central, character in The Boys of Summer . The first African American to play on a Major League Baseball team, he shared Brooklynites' hardworking ethic. It sounds like a cliché, but Robinson really did reflect the borough's character and reputation as a tough but honorable guy. The Dodgers' presence helped establish...

(The entire section contains 387 words.)

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